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Category: Middle East & North Africa

September 21, 2015

By Chris Biggers

Confirmed: SU-25s Join Russia’s Flankers in Latakia

Satellite imagery acquired by Airbus of al-Assad International Airport shows new arrivals supporting Russia’s growing military presence. Space snapshots from 20SEPT15 show twelve SU-25 Frogfoot joining the four SU-30SM Flanker already parked at the airport, a location ten miles south of Latakia. Earlier the SU-30SM were misidentified by the media as SU-27. The latest imagery was published by AllSource Analysis…

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September 20, 2015

By Chris Biggers

Russian SU-30SM in Syria, not SU-27

This post was originally written for Offiziere.ch after several comments questioning the imagery identification were posted on Twitter. Recent satellite imagery acquired by Airbus of al-Assad International airport in Syria shows four SU-30SM aircraft, not four SU-27 Flanker as originally reported by the Institute for the Study of War. The aircraft are easily mistaken for the SU-27…

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September 17, 2015

By Chris Biggers

Iran ISOICO Shipyard Imagery Update

The latest commercial satellite imagery shows some new developments at Iran’s ISOICO shipyard near Bostanu. In August, the Kharg (431) replenishment ship, which has been berthed at the shipyard since last November, was moved to the yard’s floating dry dock. Imagery suggests that the ship may be undergoing more extensive maintenance. Prior to the vessel’s…

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September 16, 2015

By Oryx

Sighting of R-166-0.5 signals vehicle affirms inflow of Russian military into Syria

The past few days have seen a steep increase of evidence revealing the true extent of direct military involvement by the Russian military on the ground in Syria. The sighting of recently delivered Russian UAVs and Russian BTR-82A infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) in addition to sound fragments confirming Russian military personnel directly participated in one…

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September 7, 2015

By Ruslan Leviev

Are there Russian troops fighting in Syria?

This post originally appeared on the LiveJournal of Ruslan Leviev in both Russian and English. The following text is a cross-post of the English translation that appeared on Leviev’s personal blog. When Leviev refers to “we” and his “investigation team,” he is referring to his “WarInUkraine” research team that has previously produced posts on such topics…

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August 31, 2015

By Chris Biggers

Military Ramp At Abu Dhabi International Is Operational

Over the last decade, the UAE has improved its transport capabilities with the acquisition of some of America’s best strategic and tactical aircraft. The latest satellite imagery acquired by DigitalGlobe shows a new operational military ramp dedicated to the country’s transport aircraft located on the north-eastern side of Abu Dhabi International. The Directorate of Military…

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August 26, 2015

By Nathan Patin

The Other Foreign Fighters: An Open-Source Investigation into American Volunteers Fighting the Islamic State

An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 foreigners have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight with the Islamic State (IS) and other Sunni jihadist groups. Of those, roughly 150 to 200 are American citizens. This report seeks to shed light on a related, yet understudied phenomenon, namely, that of Americans traveling to Iraq and Syria to fight against…

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August 21, 2015

By Type 63

Hell Cannons: From Minor Nuisance to Major Threat – The Evolution of Syrian Opposition Siege Artillery

When historians discuss defensive capabilities in conventional wars between two major powers, traditionally each power tends to have either domestic arms manufacturing or has secured the services of another nation (or nations) to do most of the heavy lifting for their defense needs. For the Syrian regime, it is a mix of the two, with most…

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